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  • Southern Kitchen

    Post #1 - March 12th, 2023, 9:54 pm
    Post #1 - March 12th, 2023, 9:54 pm Post #1 - March 12th, 2023, 9:54 pm
    I originally wrote the following after meeting Dave148 at Southern Kitchen during restaurant week. However, it occurred to me that it might get lost if it remained in the Events thread, as it is over. But I figured folks might be interested, at least if they live in the northern suburbs.

    I did have a lovely lunch at Southern Kitchen, enjoying the company of and conversation with Dave148.

    Also enjoyed the restaurant, though a serious draw for me is that it's 3.3 miles from my front door. Charming -- really attractive -- clean and bright with lots of white wood. Cheerful, skilled staff. The waitress was great, and the manager also stopped by a couple of times. The restaurant is only a bit over 7 months old, so still eager to make a good impression.

    Food was of very high quality -- but I think I'd call the menu "Southernish" -- grits, biscuits, sausage gravy, and pimento cheese aplenty, but also lots of stuff for people who might not be excited about Southern food (burgers, wraps, omelets, crepes, sandwiches, steak-and-eggs -- the stuff one expects at a breakfast and lunch only place). Nice touches, such as the syrup for pancakes being served hot. Everything I saw being served was impressive.

    The Southern elements are definitely "pan-Southern" -- everything from shrimp and grits to Nashville hot chicken sandwich to Ragin' Cajun omelette to fried catfish. And there are several items that are southern inspired but probably not being served anywhere else (some really over-the-top -- such as the pulled pork and cheese fritter as the base of one of their Benedicts or the pimento cheese BLT).

    I ordered the shrimp and grits, and while it was really good, it wasn't Charleston -- it was more shrimp and grits by way of New Orleans, with their "Ragin' Cajun" cream sauce -- but seriously, with bacon, mushrooms, jalapeños, and abundant shrimp, there was a lot to like -- and the grits were perfect. And in case you forgot that it's a breakfast place, the dish was topped with two eggs (had mine over-easy, as advised by the waitress). Dave148 had the spinach and feta omelet -- looked really good -- generous amount of food. The pancakes that came with his omelet were slightly larger than the dinner plate on which they were served. So while the place is not cheap, the servings are generous.

    I'd say it's the perfect place to go if you're with people who don't know what they're in the mood for -- because there is a little of everything. So I'd say not a place you'd drive forty miles to experience (unless you really can't good grits anywhere else), but a place that could become a regular stop if you live nearby.

    Oh -- and they have a liquor license, so bloody Mary's and mimosas are on offer.

    The Southern Kitchen
    818 E Kensington Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60004 (right behind the AH Mariano's)

    Perhaps worth noting, Dave148 took his giant pancakes home and said they made a good dinner.

    As for me -- while I don't imagine this being a place I'll spend a great deal of time, I do want to go back and try at very least the pimento cheese BLT.

    Of course, the people being so nice adds a lot to my desire that this place does adequately well to survive.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan
  • Post #2 - Yesterday, 2:32 pm
    Post #2 - Yesterday, 2:32 pm Post #2 - Yesterday, 2:32 pm
    Well, I just went back for the pimento cheese BLT. Pretty amazined -- but definitely not a good choice for any diet or nutrition plan I can think of. Kind of over-the-top, actually -- though that didn't keep me from enjoying it. Large pieces of toasted bread, generous layer of pimento cheese, thickly sliced and abundant bacon, lettuce, of course, but the thing that took it over the top was the T -- not a slice of a fresh tomato but rather fried green tomatoes. Yow. Glad I asked for the cole slaw instead of the french fries.

    Came with a cup of the soup of the day -- a very nice lentil soup today. Bit of sweetness contributed by tomato and carrot. Pleasant on a chilly day.

    One of today's breakfast specials caught my eye -- a plate of tater tots topped with BBQ beef brisket and a couple of cheesy eggs. Was tempted, but I had gone with the intention of having the BLT, so I stuck with that.

    No complaints. Everything was perfect. They just seem to have gotten a bit carried away. So be prepared -- and hungry.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan
  • Post #3 - Today, 9:23 am
    Post #3 - Today, 9:23 am Post #3 - Today, 9:23 am
    Perhaps worth noting, as is the case with an increasing number of restaurants, there is a discount if you pay with cash. Interestingly, there is a line on the bill for CC -- the 3% fee for using a credit card -- with a note that that will be taken off if you have cash.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan